We’ve gone social
Wed, August 31, 2011
Are you an early adopter?
Thu, July 21, 2011
Not full-screen after all
Thu, June 16, 2011
Some thoughts on church websites
Thu, June 09, 2011
So how did I go?
Tue, June 07, 2011
My predictions for Monday
Fri, June 03, 2011
Waterfalls and Wildlife
Tue, May 31, 2011
Looks like a good deal
Wed, May 18, 2011
The Cardboard Archive
Sun, May 15, 2011
Launch of the new Crossfade Media website
Sat, May 07, 2011
The blog might not be updated very often, but I’ve now integrated it with facebook to make it easier to share with your favourite social network.
It has been a great start to the new financial year, with some exciting developments, including upgrading all the hosting plans to completely new servers.
Been working very hard on some fantastic projects. Can’t share much now, but stay tuned.
That’s all for now!
With the launch of Mac OS X Lion, there are many who will be using up their monthly download limit to get the new beast on their machines. And with the update being available on the Mac App Store, it doesn’t even mean people have to find the time to head on down to their local Apple retailer to upgrade.
The question remains, however, how many of us are early adopters? Those who rush out and grab something just because it’s new.
A more interesting point that is coming out at this point, though, is how many are late adopters. Those who are still running OS X Leopard, who are now needing to upgrade to OS X Snow Leopard, in order to get the Mac App Store, in order to get Lion!
Will it mean that OS X Snow Leopard is the most installed but not used version of OS X ever? Thousands of people installing it, just to upgrade from Leopard to Lion.
I’ll let you know when I upgrade… Looking at my schedule, however, I won’t be an early adopter.
One of the features of the upcoming release of OS X Lion, is full-screen applications.
This can be great for getting rid of everything else and just concentrating on the task at hand.
However, a report on the MacRumors site today points out that perhaps this doesn’t work so well for those of us who have multiple monitors set up.
The displays of the other monitors are dimmed, meaning that in a multi-monitor environment, the full-screen mode becomes useless.
I certainly hope that Apple fixes this for a future release. As somebody who has a multi-monitor setup, I quite like the idea of being able to go full-screen on my primary monitor, whilst still having other applications (ie. mail, safari) open on other monitors.
Have you ever driven past a church with some supposedly witty comment on the sign out front, causing even faithful Christians to cringe? Sometimes church websites can be a bit similar. And the truth is, most church websites fall into very similar traps. To hopefully help you on the road to designing a better website for your church, here are the top 7 key traps that I see church websites falling into all the time.
1. You are NOT a mega-church
If you are a mega-church, then great! If not, please don’t fall into the trap of feeling that you need to design your website as if you were. Most mega-churches have great websites for a mega-church, but if you are a small to medium sized church, there is no need to try to match what they do, especially in structure. You need to look to the content that you are wishing to include on the website and plan appropriately.
2. Your website is NOT a billboard
Having a website, no matter how great it may be, is not like a billboard on the highway. Sure, the occasional tourist or new person in the area may search for a church and find yours. But in general, the vast majority of people who view your website were already specifically looking for it. So many churches see their website as a nice glossy brochure for their church and put it online expecting people to stumble across the website and then come to church. The reality is that people who find the website were 99% of the time already looking for it (ie. they’d been to a service, or had heard about the church, or had been given the information by a friend etc.) The number of people who go to a church because they found it online is ridiculously small, yet many church websites are aimed specifically at this minority and thus miss aiming their website at the majority of those who will view it.
3. All the bells and whistles
Many church websites are designed by volunteers within the church, for whom the website is a project about which they are hugely passionate. This is great. But sometimes they can get carried away with the technology or creativity, and end up being the driving force behind all the decisions that are made. Just because you can have a live video feed of your service streaming on your website, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is appropriate for your situation, congregation or budget. Just because your welcome page can have 20 different interactive elements, doesn’t mean that it should.
4. We’ll throw something together
On the other end of the scale to the bells and whistles is the website that was designed by a church elder who is doing one of those retirement village computer courses. Or the website that was thrown together in an evening back in 1992 with a view to actually getting a proper website… one day. Actually, please, if you have a church website like that, take it down until you get a new website designed (nobody is looking at it anyway!)
5. Church online
If you want to start an online ministry, fantastic! Look at some of the ministries that are already operating online, and if you find a niche not yet covered, then go for it. But this is not the job of a church website. People are seeking the experience of being involved in your church, not for it to be replicated online.
6. Image extremes
There are so many mistakes made with images in church websites that it could be a completely new post. From images that have been uploaded directly from the camera without resizing, through to beautiful stock photography that makes your church (and the ten other churches using the same photo) look more like an advertisement for the local dental surgery or modelling agency than for your church. If you don’t have enough quality photos from within your own community to use, then get somebody to spend a couple of weeks being involved in the different ministries of the church with their DSLR camera. Pick the best 5 - 10 photos and that’s all you should need.
7. And coming up next month…um…
The number of times I have visited a church website (youth groups are common offenders) and clicked on the upcoming events link, only to be presented with a list of things months old, is too many to count. If you are going to include a calendar on your website, only do so if you have people committed to keeping it up to date.
It’s easy to sit back and write a list like this. It is not meant as a criticism of all church websites in general, and definitely not directed at any church in particular. There will be a future post about some really good church websites and things that every church website should have.
On Friday, I went into the weekend with three predictions for the upcoming WWDC keynote:
1. Steve Jobs will receive applause that causes him to say (or motion) “thank you” at least three times before even starting the presentation
Correct! It happened exactly as I said
2. Steve Jobs will use the phrase (or similar), “The reason we do this is so you can create great apps and get them in the hands of users”
Nope - There were a few things that came close, but can’t claim this one
3. There will be no mention of the recent issues of malware or app developers being sued as part of the keynote
Correct! Not even alluded to in passing
But apart from these predictions, I feel it was a fair pre-keynote summation of things. It’s not often I read back over past blog entries, but that was quite fun!